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Top things to do in Victoria Gozo

Gozo | 0 min read |

Victoria in Gozo should be high on anyone’s list when visiting Malta’s sister isle. Much like the neighbouring relationship of Rabat and Mdina, Victoria is the bustling town outside the impressive Citadella, an ancient fortified city at the centre of Gozo.

The name Victoria was given to the town in 1887 in honour of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, as the archipelago was under British rule at the time. However, older generations still refer to it by its Maltese name, Ir-Rabat, which shouldn’t be confused with the identically named Rabat on Malta.

There’s plenty to see and explore in Victoria, from shopping and history to soaking up the vibes of this historic town that still holds a traditional touch. Victoria makes for a great day out for all the family, blending the charm of the past with the best that modern day Gozo has to offer.

Getting to Victoria, Gozo from Malta

To reach Gozo, you need to catch the Gozo ferry, which departs from Ċirkewwa, the northernmost point of Malta. Direct buses to Ċirkewwa are available from Valletta, with journeys lasting between 45 minutes to an hour. From Ċirkewwa, the ferry takes you to Mġarr Harbour in Gozo. Ferries run frequently, every 30 to 45 minutes during peak hours, with the trip lasting about 15 minutes. The Gozo Ferry operates on different schedules during the winter and summer seasons. Also, be advised that on major public holidays like Carnival and the Feast of Santa Marija in August, the ferry can become extremely busy, so it’s best to plan ahead.

Alternatively, you can reach Gozo using the Fast Ferry, which departs from the Lascaris ferry terminal in Valletta. This ferry service is for passengers only and does not carry vehicles. So, if you wish to take your car, you’ll need to use the ferry from Ċirkewwa. The Fast Ferry journey lasts about 45 minutes.

Once in Mġarr, Gozo, you can easily reach Victoria by taxi or bus, with journeys taking approximately 15 minutes.

Victoria, Gozo highlights

Is it your first-time visiting Victoria, Gozo? Then plan your trip with these must-see highlights that will help you experience the best the town has to offer.

Cittadella, Victoria Gozo.Cittadella, Victoria Gozo.
Cathedral of the Assumption, Victoria.Cathedral of the Assumption, Victoria.

Explore the Cittadella

The Cittadella is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been integral to life in Gozo for thousands of years. It wasn’t until the Knights of St. John took control of Malta that the city’s defensive walls and fortifications were built, turning it into a safe haven for Gozitans, who were then prone to attacks from raiders and corsairs. Since 2008, extensive restoration has brought the Cittadella back to its former glory. It’s a stunning little city to explore, one that—much like Mdina—feels like a portal into the past. A highlight here is the Cathedral of the Assumption, featuring a stunning array of artworks, including its trompe l’oeil ceiling, which creates the illusion of a dome.

Get interactive with history at Cittadella’s Visitor Centre

For greater insight into Gozitan history and to better understand the significance of Victoria and the Citadella, visit the Citadella’s fascinating Visitor Centre. Housed in two old water reservoirs built in the 1870s within the Citadella Ditch, this centre offers an interactive multimedia journey through the island’s past. Here you’ll explore the evolution of the Citadella, along with insights into the island’s nature, military, ecclesiastical, and civil history. A small entry fee also grants access to the Gozo Archaeology Museum, the Nature Museum, the Old Prisons, and the Gran Castello Historic House, all of which bring Gozo’s rich heritage to life.

Unearth treasures and curiosities at Victoria’s museums

Wander around the Citadella’s winding streets a little further, and you’ll stumble across all sorts of fascinating museums and exhibitions. The Folklore Museum spans several medieval houses and displays rural and domestic artifacts like sickles and cotton gins, offering a glimpse into traditional Gozitan life. The Old Prison, home to historical graffiti of ships, crosses, and names, is particularly intriguing. Even Jean Parisot de La Valette, the Grand Master who led Malta to victory in the Great Siege of 1565, spent time here. Other must-visit sites include the Cathedral Museum, the Museum of Archaeology, the Gozo Nature Museum, the Old Gunpowder Magazine, the Grain Silos, the Battery, and the World War II Shelter.

blankThe Gozo Museum of Archaeology.

Grab a market bargain at It-Tokk, Gozo

Beyond the Citadella, Victoria brims with charm. At its heart lies Independence Square, affectionately known as It-Tokk, meaning “meeting place” in old Maltese. This bustling piazza also features the 18th-century Banca Giuratale, once Gozo’s municipal seat. Most mornings, It-Tokk transforms into Gozo’s most popular market, offering fresh foods, clothing, and knickknacks. It’s also home to delightful cafes, perfect for a welcoming snack.

Wander through Villa Rundle Gardens

Take a break from all the shopping and sightseeing with a stroll through Villa Rundle Gardens. This charming green space in Victoria, Gozo, filled with an assortment of palm trees and colourful blooms, offers a shady retreat from the sun. There’s also a small aviary for birdwatching enthusiasts. Named after British General Leslie Rundle, who planted the gardens around 1915, Villa Rundle is a delightful spot year-round with its amphitheatre hosting various open-air events that celebrate the best of local talent.

Experience the old-world charm of Gozo’s opera houses

Classical music enthusiasts visiting Malta in October are in for a treat as it’s Opera Season in Gozo and Victoria’s two opera houses, Teatru Astra and Teatru Aurora, host a month-long celebration of classical music. Each theatre stages a fully produced opera, alongside recitals, workshops, and activities catering to both seasoned opera-goers and newcomers.

Enrich your Victoria, Gozo getaway with AX Hotels

If you’re staying at one of our award-winning AX Hotels in Sliema, Qawra, or Valletta, reach out to a member of our service team for personalised recommendations and tips. We can provide tailored insights on optimal routes and other insider suggestions ensuring you maximise your day out in Victoria, Gozo.

Classic Room at 4-Star AX The Victoria Hotel in Sliema MaltaClassic Room at 4-Star AX The Victoria Hotel in Sliema Malta. Image credits go to Visit Malta.

Spend a day exploring Gozo’s Capital City.

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